Sun, 06/30/2013 – Sun, 11/17/2013

Trexler Gallery

One hundred years ago, the International Exhibition of Modern Art, or Armory Show, radically altered the reception and production of modern art in America. Opening on February 17, 1913, in New York City’s 69th Regiment Armory, the exhibition was the largest yet of its kind to exhibit works of American and European modernism in the United States. The Armory Show is now infamous for the astonished reactions elicited by paintings like Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912, Philadelphia Museum of Art) and Henri Matisse’s Blue Nude (1907, Baltimore Museum of Art). But beyond its sensational appeal, the Armory Show also helped to establish the United States–and New York City in particular–as a vital place for modernism and the avant-garde in the visual arts.

In honor of the centennial of the exhibition, the Museum displayed works on paper from the permanent collection by artists who were included in the 1913 Armory Show. Some of the major modernists of the time were represented here in a special exhibit in Trexler Gallery, including the Europeans Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Georges Rouault, and the Americans Joseph Stella, John Marin, and Charles Sheeler. Also on display were prints by the American expatriate James McNeill Whistler, who some French and American critics deemed the greatest living artist of the late-nineteenth century. Finally, featured separately throughout the Museum were paintings and sculpture from the permanent collection that are by artists who exhibited in the Armory Show, including George Bellows (Dawn of Peace, 1918), William Glackens (Portrait of Katy Laurell, c 1914), Robert Henri (Spanish Dancer, 1921), and Ernest Lawson (Winter Landscape, 1910-1920).

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), print from Klänge (illustrated book), 1913, color woodcut. Gift of Starr Siegele and Larry Feinberg in memory of Audrey Berman, 2001